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January 25, 2013

GOP: We've Got To Steal Obama's Playbook

Safe link to Hot Air (it's an NYT article).

“We need to get people organized and learn from what Obama did,” said Mike Duncan, a former national party chairman who now represents Kentucky on the committee. “We’ve got to reverse engineer what they did and leapfrog to the next cycle.”

By which they mean Obama's microtargeting of voters, making micropitches, data-mining for every available Democrat even in red districts -- the so-called project NARWHAL, which appeared to be a delusion (even to the people implementing it) until it actually swiped an election.

That last bit is crucial: Generally we target our own districts and try to churn out as many votes in those districts (whether with us or against us) as possible.

As @conartcritic pointed out numerous times, though: There are lots and lots of red voters in blue cities.

Now the cities as a whole of course will go overwhelmingly Democratic. But -- this is crucial -- in statewide campaigns you can microtarget the Republican flowers hidden by all the choking liberal weeds and get them to vote and thereby increase you statewide totals.

And thereby win state elections -- and electoral college delegates.

Obama used advanced data-mining techniques -- scanning FaceBook likes and purchasing history (I'm sure-- though I'm speculating on that) to find people who were likely Democratic voters, even if they almost never voted, and gin them up with narrowly-tailored political mail.

For example, if you find an unmarried woman, age 25, who follows the Anthropologie feed on FaceBook (the fashion shop, I mean, not the science), she's almost certainly liberal-leaning. Even if she lives in red territory, like Kansas.

So Obama sent that girl Alarming Abortion mailer after Alarming Abortion mailer.

We must absolutely copy this technique.

There is one problem that faces us that the Democrats don't face -- note that this technique involves a lot of saying one thing to one audience while saying something different to another. In their private mailers, Democrats ran as abortion and gay marriage enthusiasts... something they did not run on generally. (They pretended to not be outright liberal extremist generally.)

Now the media of course covered up for them, and would never report that while the Democrats talk about "common sense" guidelines about abortions, they advance a strong pro-abortion agenda in their micro-targeted mailers.

Republicans, naturally, will be hit with this relentlessly -- if a mailer uses stronger-than-usual language to defend gun rights in a mailer to a gun owner, we'll be hit about how "extreme" our message is "below the radar." Reporters will make every single one of our mailers famous, and not in a good way.

That said, that's the terrain we fight on, and there's little use complaining about it. This technique must be copied.

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posted by Ace at 03:44 PM

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